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Politics Bernie Sanders, Democrats push for $15 minimum wage by 2025, passage faces tough sledding in Congress

00:55  27 january  2021
00:55  27 january  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

The handwarming story of how Bernie Sanders got his inauguration mittens

  The handwarming story of how Bernie Sanders got his inauguration mittens They were made by Jen Ellis, a second-grade teacher in Essex Junction, Vt. Among the things she’s passionate about are Bernie Sanders, teaching her class (which, during the pandemic, she’s done in an outdoor classroom she built) and mittens. And, dear reader, note: We’re talking mittens. NOT gloves. © Jonathan Ernst/AP Senator Bernie Sanders attends President Biden's inauguration ceremony (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP) “There’s some debate about whether mittens are better than gloves, and I’m obviously in the camp that thinks mittens are better,” she told The Washington Post.

WASHINGTON – Democrats who now control Congress are proposing to raise the federal minimum hourly wage to $15 by 2025.

It would be the first increase in more than a decade. The current wage, $7.25, was set in 2009.

"Let’s be clear. The $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage is a starvation wage," said Sen Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in announcing the bill Tuesday. "No person in America can make it on $8, $10, or $12 an hour. In the United States of America, a job must lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it."

Bernie Sanders wearing a suit and tie: US Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, speaks at George Washington University in Washington, DC, on September 24, 2020. - Sanders warned that the US faces an © NICHOLAS KAMM, AFP via Getty Images US Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, speaks at George Washington University in Washington, DC, on September 24, 2020. - Sanders warned that the US faces an "unprecedented and dangerous moment," as US President Donald Trump questions the legitimacy of mail-in ballots and suggests he might not accepts the election results.

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Biden wants a $15 hourly federal minimum wage. Is America ready?

  Biden wants a $15 hourly federal minimum wage. Is America ready? Raising the federal minimum wage "would provide a much-needed financial shot in the arm for many of those still in a position of financial fragility,” one economist said.Organized labor and its supporters have been agitating for a $15 minimum wage for nearly a decade, but shifting political winds, the embrace of populism on both sides of the aisle and widespread financial pain for Americans at the bottom of the income spectrum make a minimum wage hike a policy whose time might finally have come.

The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 in five steps over the next four years. Beginning in 2026, the federal minimum wage then would be indexed to median wage growth under the bill, a similar version of which also is being introduced in the House.

Bernie Sanders wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. © Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Supporters say the measure would increase wages for nearly 32 million Americans, including roughly a third of all Black workers and a quarter of all Latino workers, according to an analysis by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

But a 2019 analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that raising the minimum wage to $15 would have mixed effects.

It would boost the wages of 17 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $15 per hour and might raise the pay of another 10 million workers earning slightly more than that wage, according to the analysis. It would also decrease the number of people in poverty by 1.3 million, but another 1.3 million workers would become jobless due to expectations that employers would employ fewer people to make up for the increased wages they'd have to pay.

Democrats Want To Send A $15 Minimum Wage Bill To Joe Biden's Desk

  Democrats Want To Send A $15 Minimum Wage Bill To Joe Biden's Desk Democrats in Congress renewed their push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour on Tuesday, with leaders from both the House and Senate announcing they would introduce bills this week. The idea of a $15 wage floor from coast to coast has never had more momentum, or more political viability. Democrats have taken control of both chambers of Congress and the White House for the first time in eight years. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has already called on lawmakers to pass a $15 law, which has been the rallying cry of the Fight for $15 campaign by low-wage workers.

More: Minimum wage set to rise in 20 states, 32 localities as growing number adopt $15 an hour

Despite Democrats' control of Congress, the measure faces a tall hurdle in the Senate where it would take 60 votes to overrule a filibuster and bring the measure to the floor for a vote. Democrats only have 50 votes plus Vice President Kamala Harris in case of a tie.

Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Pat Toomey opposes the measure based on the projected loss of jobs.

"The last thing the American people need is a bill coming out of Washington that would wipe out hundreds of thousands of their jobs," he said.

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday his administration had begun the process of requiring federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum hourly wage as part of his efforts to advance racial equality.

More: Biden signs orders giving economic relief to working families hit hard by COVID-19

The executive order builds on one he signed Friday, in which he asked his advisers to develop a recommendation to raise the amount for federal workers.

Democrats renew fight for $15 minimum wage as Sanders vows passage

  Democrats renew fight for $15 minimum wage as Sanders vows passage A competitive 2022 race and opposition from the powerful business lobby is likely to erode support for the measure, which would more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.The increase — which would more than double the current minimum of $7.25 — would deliver on a major priority that organized labor has sought for nearly a decade and put more money in the pockets of tens of millions of workers.

It's part of the president's broader strategy to raise the minimum wage for all Americans, which he included in his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal.

"No one in America should work 40 hours a week making below the poverty line," Biden said Friday. "Fifteen dollars gets people above the poverty line.  We have so many millions of people working 40 hours a week ... and some with two jobs, and they’re still below the poverty line."

The order announced Tuesday also provides paid emergency leave for federal contract workers.

In 2019, the House passed legislation gradually raising raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025 mostly along party lines. It died in the GOP-controlled Senate.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bernie Sanders, Democrats push for $15 minimum wage by 2025, passage faces tough sledding in Congress

Every Democratic senator voted with Republicans to bar a $15 minimum wage hike during the pandemic because they never wanted that in the first place .
Most Democrats back a proposal that gradually raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years.In effect, Democrats, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, joined with Republicans to drive the fact home.

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